Off the Rails

I’ve been reading a lot about tarot cards lately because a friend bought me a book on it, suggesting it might help me with some ideas in the novel. I’ve decided to insert a tarot card reading scene, serving the functional purpose of (a) Eva seeking answers/actions that are quick, (b) one of many possible, wacky solutions to her wacky, paraweirdo predicament and (c) foreshadowing.

Tarot cards have been used for centuries. They used to be playing cards before they became fortune telling cards. Basically, there are 78 cards in a deck, each with a different, illustrated picture. There’s the Major Arcana (these cards depict scenes with a lot of symbolism) and the Minor Arcana (four suits, more like regular playing cards, consisting of Wands, Coins, Cups and Swords). I’ve decided to go with the tarot reader giving Eva-as-Jade a reading called a Celtic Cross spread: ten cards, each placed in a certain position in relation to each other, each cards standing in for a specific reason. For example, Card 1 represents the theme of the reading. Card 2 are obstacles in the way. Card 3 is the subconscious, etc.
Tarot cards are illustrated, so cards like The Fool or The Magician or The Hanged Man all have various interpretations based on where they pop up in the spread–and all of it is fairly vague, you know? I think it can work as a good character-revealing-foreshadowing element in the book, but I don’t know the first thing about tarot beyond the book and a few websites I’ve found. Deciding which card should go where in the spread for Eva-as-Jade has been time consuming. This is the kind of thing you don’t think about when you start writing paraweirdo novels. Seriously, next book: normal. No ghosts. No soul movements. No souls!
I’m more familiar with astrology. In Chinese astrology, I’m a tiger (though, not strictly, since my birthday is before Chinese New Year). In Western astrology, I am an Aquarius. *cue Age of Aquarius*
Here are my supposed characteristics, from:
  • Fixed Sign. Air Sign.
  • Aquarius likes: fame and recognition, personal privacy, rainbows, dreams, magic, change for its own sake, eccentricity, surprises, and living within their means despite the many temptations which constantly surround them every waking moment.
  • Aquarius dislikes:emotion and intimacy, people who show off, being taken for granted, being pinned down, violence and fighting, and senseless or purposeless extravagance of any sort.

  • Aquarians are supposed to get along well with other Air Signs (Gemini, Libra). Best love match is a Libra.
  • The best sign for an Aquarian to get married to, besides another Aquarian or a Gemini or Libra, is a Leo, the opposite on the astrological wheel, however, I’m also seeing that Aquarians and Leos can totally hate each other, depending on individual charts and things.Who knows. I’ll deal with people rather than their signs. Although my dear college roomie is an Aquarius and several close friends are Libras.

There is a side of me that is intrigued by psychics, astrology, fortune telling and dreams. I believe in past lives, for instance, and I think things happen for a reason. It’s the same part of me that likes The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and FlashForward.

I still can’t believe I’m actually researching this kind of fantastical, slightly off-kilter kind of stuff. It’s fun, but also inspires head scratching and lots of thought bubbles that would read, “Really?”

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